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Dead To The Law

by J. R. Clark

There are  many   scriptures  we might  cite and many  arguments we might present to prove  the Christian is free from the law of  Moses. But  we will rest our  case  with Romans 7.

But first  let us make a  little  background  study. God made a  promise to  Abraham that “in thee and in thy seed shall all the  families of the earth be blessed.”  “He said not, And to seeds, as of many, but as of one, And to thy  seed, which is Christ.” This  promise (containing the Gospel in  embryo) reached all the  way to Christ. To this promise  the law of Moses “was added because of transgression, till the  seed shall come to whom the  promise hath been made…” (Gal. 3). Then the  purpose of the law was  to convict men of sin. “Through the law cometh the knowledge of  sin.”

It was, in that respect, a tutor to bring the Jews to Christ, that they might be  justified  by  faith. And Paul says,  “But  now that  faith is  come, we are  no longer  under a tutor.”  In other  words, the law thus  served its  purpose and  bowed out. While the  promise of the  blessing carried all the way  to  Christ and on to the end, the  law was a temporary adjunct, whose sole purpose was to convict of sin.

The law itself offered no salvation and no hope, for it was based on man’s ability to live up to it  perfectly. None  could do so, except Christ. Says Paul, “Cursed is everyone  who continuith not in all things that are written in the book of the  law to do them.” But he  continues his  treatise with a happy  note, pointing out that Christ became a  curse for us.

Thus Paul could say, “Ye are not  under the law, but  under grace.” Circumcision, law keeping, and  sabbath keeping, as in an y way connected with  salvation, are thereby  excluded.

To  clinch this point we turn now to Romans 7. Here man’s contract with the law of Moses is  viewed as a marriage relation. Plainly the  law  of Moses is the  husband. Death severs a marriage tie, and in case the husband dies the  wife is free to remarry. So  argues Paul here in  Romans 7. The inference thus far in his argument is that the husband or the law dies.  But through a  clever  switch Paul says the  wife  dies and  for that  reason the tie is broken. Hear him, “Wherefore  my brethren, ye  who were also dead to the law through the  body of  Christ; that  ye should be joined  to another, even to him who was raised from the dead, that we might bring forth fruit unto God…But now we have  been discharged from the law, having  died to that wherein we were held; so that we serve in newness of the spirit, and  not in oldness of the  letter.”

What a convincing  argument! Even if those  who advocate  the  continuance  of the law of Moses in who or I part, could prove that is not  abrogated, yet they could not  prove that the Christian had any obligation to it, for he, through the body of Christ, is made dead to the Law, and is now  happily  married  to  Another, to Christ, bringing forth  fruit unto God. The church is not a  bigamist, that she should be  married both to the law and to  Christ at the same time!



J. R. Clark, in the  “Word and Work,” Vol. LIII, No. 7, July, 1959, p. 189-90.   Bro. Clark was  co-editor, along with  Bro. E. L. Jorgenson from May, 1956 to  1961.


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The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.

John 10:10